With the Sounders exactly 15 games through a 30-game regular season, coach Sigi Schmid gave this mid-term report after practice today:
"I feel OK where we're at. We've been in every game we've played. There's only been two halves -- one half in Chicago, and one half in Colorado -- where I thought we got outplayed and a team really took it to us and had us on our heels. I thought for the majority of time we've either been the better team ore we've been as good as the team we've played against. We're averaging about a point-and-a-half a game, which is what you need to do to get into the playoffs, so we're on course there.
"We want to do better in the second half of the season. I think offensively our cohesion is getting better -- we're starting to click a little more. And defensively we have to make sure we sure up those little mistakes, those little mental errors that sometimes we've made in the last couple of games where we kept giving away a goal. We've got to get back to getting clean sheets.
But overall I feel good where our team's at, and I think our team's got to feel good because they're a lot further along than they were when we started the season in March. Their knowledge of each other is a lot deeper."
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A couple of other interesting quotes from today:
Kasey Keller, relating to Tim Howard's work while under attack today in the Confederation Cup:
"You're just hoping that the ball comes somewhere where you can do something about it. You're hoping that guys make tackles. You're hoping that at some stage they kind of clean it up. It was a bit lopsided, but I thought the guys defended very very well. And if you're going to beat a team like Spain, you're going to need your goalkeeper to make some saves."
And Taylor Graham, on his appearance today on "The Price is Right."
"I was lucky that today was the first day that we've trained in three or four days; so a lot of guys, I think it kind of slipped their mind. But I'm sure someone will track down a copy. I think people are really happy that they have that under their belt so they can hold it against me whenever they want. I'll be the first to admit I was terrible."